When I went to Berlin alone for the first time 24 years ago, one of the first places I visited was Potsdamer Platz. At that time I was insanely impressed by the architecture, the stores, all the cinemas, theaters, and restaurants. I felt as if I had been transported to the future. What they came up with for this historic place back then absolutely resonated with me.
This coming weekend, September 15-16, Potsdamer Platz is now celebrating its 25th anniversary with a big, free festival. A lot has happened in this quarter of a century. A whole neighborhood has developed around it, and the square as a whole is even busier and more active than when I first visited. In particular, the restructuring of the former Potsdamer Platz Arkaden into The Playce is probably the most striking recent change. It is the first mall in Berlin to undergo a major overhaul and attract visitors with a new concept.
The iconic Potsdamer Platz has such a rich history of transformation and reinvention – it’s almost a part of its identity. Berlin-based artist Jill Senft has now become another creative force in a long line of people who laid their hands on the famous quarter and gave it a fresh look. We recently joined a guided tour by the artist herself showcasing several of her sight-specific pieces that are spread all over the place – many of which are inside and around the newly opened The Playce that some of you might remember as the former Potsdamer Platz Arkaden – a place that has gone through its own mighty transformation in the last years.
The style of artist Jill Senft can be described as colorful, joyful, bold, and whimsical – a style that could not be more suitable for a busy place like that with so much going on and so many different people passing through. She was one of many artists that pitched their visions for the artist take-over and her idea was the one that struck a chord.